Multi-coloured New Forest Tours

Saturday 22nd August 2020 Continuing my Covid curtailed summer open top bus rides, I popped down to the New Forest today to sample Bluestar's colour coded circular tours around the National Park. There are three circular routes with the Blue and Green routes running anti-clockwise while the Red route goes clockwise. I last travelled on... Continue Reading →

Beachcomber and EastRider riden

Thursday 20 August 2020 The last time I took a ride on East Yorkshire's open top bus service along Scarborough's seafront was in May last year, just before the lovely bright new Beachcomber brand was rolled out, so it was nice to make a return visit on Tuesday and see the Best Impressions designed makeover... Continue Reading →

404: No passenger found

Thursday 6th August 2020 London's bus route 404 is interesting for a number of reasons. It’s one of TfL's short meandering routes that doesn’t really go anywhere. It wanders around well-heeled leafy residential roads lying either side of Coulsdon Road which links Coulsdon (in the London Borough of Croydon) with Caterham-on-the-Hill (just over the border... Continue Reading →

Beside the seaside, beside the sea

Saturday 1st August 2020 It’s a shorter summer season this year for obvious reasons, so this past week I've been out and about giving three bus companies running seafront open top bus routes in the south-east a bit of much needed custom and support. First up on a lovely sunshine filled day last Sunday was... Continue Reading →

Kent’s fifth rural initiative

Thursday 23rd July 2020 Regular readers will remember last summer I took a ride on four of Kent County Council’s new ‘Rural Transport Initiatives’. Three of these involved the introduction of ‘Taxi Buses’ including a Sevenoaks Taxi Bus linking West Kingsdown and the East Hill Residential Park with Sevenoaks; a Sandwich Taxi Bus linking that... Continue Reading →

Manchester miscellany

Monday 2nd March 2020 Stagecoach rolled out its high profile £16.5 million investment in 32 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double deckers yesterday so I popped up to Manchester today to take a look. They're zero emission electric buses and in a nice piece of purchase symmetry the Government's Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme contributed a handy £6.9... Continue Reading →

Lincs links

Saturday 29th February 2020 A long overdue overnight visit to some friends living in the delightful market town of Stamford was a great opportunity to sample a couple of Lincolnshire’s bus routes on Thursday and yesterday. The foul weather put paid to more extensive travelling; pouring rain and misted up windows are a lethal combination... Continue Reading →

Epsom Sorts

Friday 7th February 2020 Public transport provision in Epsom is somewhat anomalous. Along with neighbouring Ewell it was keen to stay on the Surrey side of the new Greater London boundary back in 1965 and TfL’s Zone 6 boundary is tantalisingly close to the town running between the previous stations to the north at Ewell... Continue Reading →

Plenty to chew on as … Nuneaton!

Tuesday 28th January 2020 The competitive battle between National Express Coventry and Stagecoach Midlands notched up another gear yesterday with the former extending alternate journeys on their ten minute frequency route 20 running between Coventry and Bedworth every 20 minutes on to Nuneaton as a direct challenge to Stagecoach Midlands' long established, and long in... Continue Reading →

Red Express reprieve

Wednesday 22nd January 2020 Social media was buzzing this morning with news the previously announced withdrawal of Blackburn Bus Company's Red Express route X41 had been rescinded and the route will continue after all. This is good news for Lancastrians living in the Accrington, Haslingden to Ramsbottom corridor on the fringes of Greater Manchester who... Continue Reading →

Revolutionising the Harrogate experience

Friday 17th Janurary 2020 Last month's timetable change saw a greatly improved train service for Harrogate with LNER introducing direct trains to and from London Kings Cross every two hours; a substantial increase over the once a day journey which previously ran. Six daily southbound departures from Harrogate leave at 07:34; 09:36; 11:36; 13:36; 15:36 and... Continue Reading →

Will Clacton be all at sea?

Wednesday 1st January 2020 Head to head competition between First Essex and Go-Ahead owned Hedingham between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea comes to an end on Saturday. First Essex closed its Clacton-on-Sea base back in July 2018 with Hedingham taking over the town's local bus routes leaving First running only the three-bus-an-hour inter-urban link from Colchester to... Continue Reading →

The soon to be ex X90

Wednesday 4th December 2019 The recent announcement by Oxford Bus of the withdrawal of their long standing X90 coach route between Oxford and London in a month's time on 4th January surprised a good few industry observers. Me included. But when I thought about it and read more of the background it really wasn't surprising... Continue Reading →

Bus battle Southampton style

Sunday 1st December 2019 There was a time when Oxford was the oft quoted example of head-to-head quality competition between two major bus companies as each operator aimed for a high standard of service to attract custom. Oxford's bus market matured after a statutory partnership deal led to a coordinated network so its fallen to... Continue Reading →

Xpress Dundee done, (and Airlink)

Wednesday 16th October 2019 Xplore Dundee, the National Express owned bus company in Dundee, launched a brand new airport express coach service back in June linking the city directly with Edinburgh Airport via the A90 and M90. Four months on I thought it was a good time to take a look and see how it... Continue Reading →

Farewell 48 after fifty years

Friday 11th October 2019 TfL's next round of reductions to bus routes servIng central London begins tomorrow. This one is much less extensive than in June, involving changes to just a handful of routes, most significant of which is the complete withdrawal of route 48 between London Bridge and Walthamstow Central station. Introduced as part of... Continue Reading →

43 years later in Cornwall

Sunday 6th October 2019 I picked up an old Western National timetable book for Cornwall when visiting the Isle of Wight Bus Museum last weekend. It's always fascinating to see how bus routes have changed over the decades so as I was heading down to Cornwall over this weekend I took it with me to... Continue Reading →

Britain’s shortest bus route

Wednesday 2nd October I travelled on Britain's longest bus route from Glasgow to Skye at the beginning of last month so decided to give Britain's shortest bus route a ride today. That accolade goes to Rosso's route 13 between Rawtenstall bus station and the business and retail park in nearby New Hall Hey. An exchange... Continue Reading →

Only Connect in Kent

Monday 16th September 2019 Back in July I took a ride on Nu-Venture's route 58 between Maidstone, East and West Malling and villages and hamlets close to Wrotham Heath in Kent before it was transformed as part of one of Kent County Council's rural pilots. The idea was to cut the route back from the... Continue Reading →

Britain’s longest bus* route

Tuesday 3rd September 2019 It's about 230 miles long. It takes 7 hours and 50 minutes. It's Scottish Citylink's route 915 (or 916) from Glasgow's Buchanan Bus Station all the way to Uig Pier on the Isle of Skye via Fort William and Kyle of Lochalsh. I've travelled along this route a few times, but... Continue Reading →

Ninety round Glasgow

Monday 2nd September 2019 I've ridden round Birmingham (on both NatEx's inner and outer circular bus routes); round Leicester with Centrebus; round Coventry before that city's circular route (neatly numbered 360) got the chop so I thought it was time to take a ride on First Glasgow's route 90, which almost completes an inner circuit... Continue Reading →

Crossing the Pennines

Saturday 31st August 2019 Route 888 between Newcastle and Keswick is the lesser known bus service across the Pennines. Whereas the more famous route 685 takes a direct westerly trajectory along the A69 to Carlisle via Hexham and Haltwhistle, the 888 also serves Hexham but then follows a south westerly route via Alston and Langwathby... Continue Reading →

There’s Hope in Derbyshire

Tuesday 27th August 2019 It's not often a National Park Authority trials a new bus service these days so hats off to the Peak District for funding the new H1 and H2 bus routes for six weeks during the summer school holidays. Branded as the Hope Valley Explorer two Stagecoach Optare Solos are providing an... Continue Reading →

zeelo lands at Gatwick Airport

Wednesday 21st August 2019 I sampled zeelo's new commuter coach service between Newport and Bristol back in the Spring and wrote about the company and my travel experience on 24th May. Now the enterprising entrepreneurs based at zeelo's London Shoreditch HQ have started another new venture, also aimed at commuters, this time connecting part of Crawley... Continue Reading →

Britain’s most southerly bus stop…

... and other west Cornwall travels. Thursday 8th August 2019 Having travelled up to Cape Wrath last month to visit mainland Britain's most northerly bus terminus I thought it was time to take a look at the most southerly bus stop. It's located at The Green, Lizard, just north of Lizard Point itself, where First... Continue Reading →

Three days in Dorset and Somerset

Monday 5th August 2019 My little trip on the GWR train between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard on Saturday was a good opportunity to sample some great bus rides across Dorset and around Somerset on my way there and back making for a lovely long weekend's travels. Planning bus journeys in Somerset is quite a challenge... Continue Reading →

A day in Lothian

Wednesday 31st July 2019 Edinburgh's a great city to visit and for those of us with an interest in public transport it's always full of interesting developments, whether it be new low floor coaches on inter-urban express routes, mega-size tri-axle double deckers on city bus routes, buses which accommodate bicycles, new electric trains to Glasgow,... Continue Reading →

Crossing Hammersmith Bridge

Monday 29th July 2019 A much needed new service began carrying passengers over Hammersmith Bridge from this morning. With the Bridge closed to all motor traffic including buses since 10th April this new service is provided by a lovely man called Frederick peddling a smart electric Pedi-Cab. And very efficient it is too. I only... Continue Reading →

A south Suffolk saunter

Friday 26th July 2019 I incorporated Wednesday's ride on Buckland Buses' splendid 1929 Dennis on route 250 between Aldeburgh and Thropeness into an enjoyable couple of days saunter around the lovely countryside in south Suffolk. On Tuesday morning I caught the stopping train to Ipswich out of Liverpool Street at 11:04 as far as Marks... Continue Reading →

Back in time 90 years in Aldeburgh

Wednesday 24th July 2019 There are lots of wonderful heritage railways all over the country attracting thousands of visitors enjoying a nostalgic train ride. Most are run by volunteers with maybe just a few paid staff and are hugely successful. Who doesn't enjoy a ride-back-in-time rekindling memories of how things used to be? Although running... Continue Reading →

On the M2 on the M2 … and a 301

Monday 22nd July 2019 You have to hand it to Stagecoach. Whenever they give a new commercial service a go, they don't hold back. Their South West Falcon introduced in 2016 linking Bristol with Plymouth was a massive investment involving a fleet of brand new coaches running hourly during the day as well as night... Continue Reading →

Britain’s remotest bus terminus

Wednesday 17th July 2019 It's been a bucket list ambition for a few years. Travel to mainland Britain's most north westerly point at Cape Wrath and visit by far the remotest bus terminus alongside its famous lighthouse. You can't get more remote than the end of an isolated eleven mile single track road which has... Continue Reading →

Another rural pilot in Kent

Friday 12th July 2019 Kent County Council's fourth 'Rural Transport Initiative' gets underway on Monday next week so earlier today I took a ride on the last weekday operation of the old order to get a sense of what this one's all about. (My write up of the first three pilot schemes can be read... Continue Reading →

Three Staffordshire bus rides

Tuesday 9th July 2019  Welcome to a fourth day of travelling to tick off various 'to do' routes, destinations, new buses and trains which began with an early start from Llandrindod Wells on the first 06:18 journey which starts its journey at this lovely station and continues beyond Shrewsbury as a stopping train through to... Continue Reading →

railair takes off from Guildford

Wednesday 3rd July 2019 Bus and coach routes serving airports have expanded greatly over the last few decades with a seemingly constant stream of new initiatives. I wrote about the recent upgrade to First Glasgow's route 500 between Glasgow Airport and the city centre last month while over at Edinburgh Airport, Xplore Dundee have started... Continue Reading →

DaRT about in Dengie

Saturday 29th June 2019 Back in April I took a ride on the bus route formerly known as the 'Wiltshire Wigglybus' between Pewsey and Devizes - a traditional rural bus route combined with a Dial-a-Ride flexible option and wrote about it here. Yesterday I thought it might be interesting to sample a similar type of... Continue Reading →

LEJOG: As it happened

This is the story of how a journey on the Longest Day of the year from Lands End to John O'Groats by ground public transport (that's bus and train) unfolded in real time. The original plan, as described in Wednesday's (19th June) blog was to complete the end-to-end journey in just under 24 hours. Except,... Continue Reading →

LEJOG: The plan

Wednesday 19th June 2019 To celebrate a year of blogging and the upcoming Longest Day of the year I'm heading down to Cornwall on GWR's Night Riviera sleeper train tonight to begin an epic 24-hour Lands End to John O'Groats trip by bus and train beginning tomorrow, Thursday, afternoon. On most weekdays, this famous journey... Continue Reading →

Rural pilots take off in Kent

Tuesday 18th June 2019 Kent County Council's 'Rural Transport Initiative' using 'Taxi Buses' has begun so I thought I'd take a look to see how it's going. It's early days but there are already signs of interest building in the rural communities now enjoying public transport either for the first time or after quite a... Continue Reading →

293 and 294 bow out in Kent

Tuesday 11th June 2019 Yesterday was the final time routes 293 and 294 connected various Kent villages with Tenterden. The routes' withdrawal are a consequence of Kent County Council's slimmed down funding cut to uncommercial bus services following its 'Big Conversation' consultation about rural transport last year. I'd been alerted to the withdrawals on social... Continue Reading →

All steamed up in Ongar

Sunday 9th June 2019 The Epping Ongar Railway is having one of its popular steam weekends this weekend and I took a ride to the end of the Central Line to have a look. Thanks to Roger Wright's ownership interests, you can always count on decent bus connections from right outside Epping Station to North... Continue Reading →

Elevated views on the 500

Friday 7th June 2019It's been a long time waiting but finally First Bus have allocated much needed double deck buses on their high profile Glasgow Airport Express route 500. Ten smart new buses began operating the 24/7 shuttle link between the airport and city centre from the middle of April so I was pleased to... Continue Reading →

A day in Stranraer and The Rhins

Thursday 6th June 2019 It may not rank as high as the West Highland Line, the Kyle of Lochalsh Line or the Far North Line in the great Scottish Scenic Rail Lines stakes but ScotRail have rightly designated the line down to Stranraer as a Scenic Rail Journey and very justifiably so too. While I... Continue Reading →

Topless in Hastings

Friday 31st May 2019 There's been a welcome resurgence in the traditional open top bus market (as opposed to high profile City Sightseeing) over the last few years with long withdrawn routes returning to their once regular haunts. Yellow Buses resurrected their seafront service in Bournemouth and Boscombe a couple of years ago, as did... Continue Reading →

H1: the hidden hospital bus

While I was giving GoSutton a try between the Royal Marsden and St Helier Hospitals in Sutton on Tuesday my friend James tweeted suggesting I also give the H1 inter-hospital bus route a ride. That was a new one on me, so I couldn't resist giving it a go. The H1 is sponsored by the... Continue Reading →

Riding the Adur Valley Line

Bank Holiday Monday 27th May 2019 The ever professional conductor James gets ready to take up his duty Southern Transit run a once a week bus route between Horsham and Shoreham-by-Sea following as closely as possible the Adur Valley railway line between those towns which closed in 1966 and the more recently established Downs Link... Continue Reading →

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